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Silk Road by Gansu Dance, Drama and Opera Ensemble

Silk RoadStaged by one of China’s most authoritative performance companies, this contemporary version of China’s most distinguished piece of historical dance-theatre comes to London following 34 years of performances around the world. With performances in 30 countries and 400 cities to audiences of more than four million, recently at New York’s Lincoln Center, this vibrant performance portrays a story of peace and friendship between Chinese merchants and foreign traders.

Inspired by the landscape of the North Western China’s Silk Road and the early Dunhuang Frescoes and performed by a 47 strong ensemble, this exotic tale, one of China’s most important dance productions, merges Chinese classical and modern foreign dance, ancient folk songs and dazzling costumes.


Situated in the Sanwei Mountain, a place blessed with thousands of Buddhas and lit by holy lights, the performance follows a painter’s daughter who is kidnapped after they help save the life of a Persian businessman on the Silk Road. It was first performed in 1979 and was adapted into a film in 1982, the same year that they became the first Asian arts troupe to perform at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, it has been performed around the world in countries including France, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Spain and Turkey.

Gansu Dance Drama & Opera Ensemble (Gansu DDOE) was established in 1961 by the Culture Department of China’s Gansu province. The main role of Gansu Dance Drama & Opera Ensemble is to research, create and perform Dunhuang music and dance, which blossomed along the Silk Road in ancient China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). In recent years, Gansu DDOE has created and performed many heralded works, including music for the Konghou (an ancient Chinese harp), Apsaras, Music and Dance of Xiliang, Tang Dynasty Rhyme, the Thousand Hand Guanyin Dance.
The Peacock Theatre has been part of the Sadler’s Wells group since the company moved there during the building works in the 1990s. Sadler’s Wells is the UK’s leading dance house, uniquely committed to bringing the very best international and UK dance to London audiences. They are dedicated to producing, commissioning and presenting works of the highest standards, crossing the boundaries between different art forms.

Created and Performed by
Artistic Supervisor Feng Shuangbai, Artistic Director Lu Jinlong
General Director Shen Chen, Xu Chenghua, Production Stage Manager Zhang Ji
Performed by Li Li, Chen Chen (Ying Niang), An Ning (Painter Shenbi Zhang), Suo Jingxing (Yi Nusi), Song Yulong (Dou Hu), Wang Jianfei (Official), Wang Jun (Official) and Han Bin (HeXi Jiedushi)

Listings Information
Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, London WC2A 2HT
11th at 7.30pm, 12th January at 1.30pm & 7.30pm
Running Time: 90 minutes with one interval
Suitable for ages 5+

Tuesday 3rd December 2013


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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